Obama Care and why Churches Don’t Need to Be Political Mono-Cultures

House for All Sinners and Saints, the congregation I serve as Pastor, is a pretty progressive bunch of folks.  The culture of the congregation skews liberal – so when a thing like the SCOTUS ruling that the Affordable Care Act was indeed constitutional happens, my Facebook newsfeed lights up with one celebration after the other.  Based only on my Facebook newsfeed last Thursday one could easily surmise that all of America was elated about the decision. Except that’s not reality.  Reality is that the decision divided America once again and the sides divided turned on each other in vicious and sometimes alarming ways.

The first couple hours after the ruling people were posting links to the news story, perhaps with a little “woo-hoo” or “yes!”.  But soon there were things like this:

I laughed when I saw this.

Then my newsfeed filled with more derision. Like this: “This thread of folks “moving to Canada” because of “socialist Obamacare” makes me glad I paid attention in school.”

Again, I thought that was funny.  I thought it was absurd that people would want to move to another country just because now more low income people can afford health care.

Then my editor Nicci posted this:

“I know that many of you are opposed to Obama’s health care law, but for me, this is extremely good news. What this legislation will do for my family–for my husband with Type 1 diabetes and for my mother with blood cancer–is immeasurable.”

Her post was heartfelt and not at all insulting to those who disagree with her, yet still I replied thusly and with great snark:

“If they wanted quality health care they should have known better than to get those kinds of diseases without being wealthy. seriously.”

The day was looking to be one of celebration until I started to see posts in my newsfeed from a new couple at church.  They aren’t just new to church.  They are new to the Christian faith.  I baptized them both at the Easter vigil and when her mom died a couple weeks later our church prayed for them and brought them food. They drive over an hour each way every week to be part of our worshipping community. They were not celebrating on Thursday.  Their posts were about losing freedom and liberty.  There was at one point even a picture of Hitler posted with a list of what kind of measures Nazi Germany had to undergo to afford universal heath care, which made me squirm.

But later that night when I saw a post from her about how some people were deleting her because of political disagreements my heart sank.

So I have 2 things to say:

1. I whole-heartedly support more access to affordable health care for all Americans and hope that the ACA will accomplish this.  But it is unfair to assume that people who disagree with the ACA do so because they want the opposite of what I want – that they oppose it because they want to keep poor people from having access to quality medical care.  It is unfair for those who oppose the ACA to assume that I support it because I hate freedom and liberty. The fact is that I have not read and clearly do not understand the 1000 pages of this legislation.Therefore, some of the complaints brought by the detractors may very well have some standing to them.

2. As the church, our political leanings should not be the thing that unites us otherwise we too easily fall into the “Isn’t Jesus so lucky to have us on his side?” heresy.   It has to be grace.  It has to be a table where all are welcome. It has to be Christ. When it’s anything else we aren’t really being the church we are being something else and people get hurt.

I think that on a personal level our faith should inform our politics.  But people of good faith disagree and we should respect this. Which is why there is no reason for congregations to be political mono-cultures.

 

About Nadia Bolz Weber

I am the founding Pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. We are an urban liturgical community with a progressive yet deeply rooted theological imagination. Learn more at www.houseforall.org

  • http://fifteenminuteplan.wordpress.com Lyndsey

    1) That photo is hilarious

    2) I see your point, but I (respectfully) disagree– at least to an extent. I do agree with you that churches should be welcoming of all and that those who disagree with us might have reasons we hadn’t thought of for doing so. However from my perspective as a young person who considers herself a Christian but hasn’t been to a church regularly in well over ten years… I really wish that there were more liberal-leaning churches like yours and that they were more vocal. From my experience of what I see in the media, in our government, and even among those I know– being a Christian seems almost synonymous with being conservative and fighting against the interests of the poor and against tolerance. I think that is a major reason why a lot of younger people have walked away from churches and feel the only way to be spiritual is to do it in private. If liberal-leaning churches were a bit more vocal in their support of social issues in politics I think that it would help to welcome back those of us who have become disheartened by the state of our religion. But— just my 2cents.

    • http://twitter.com/mckeetr Travis

      I also respectfully disagree with your argument, Lyndsey. While I appreciate your desire for a church more reflective of your views (and would honestly love one myself that wasn’t automatically assumed as a bigoted, closed minded, hate machine) I don’t think that is what church is. A liberal church is just as much in danger of alienating as a conservative one. I think that most churches that acknowledge there is a liberal viewpoint also view inclusion as a value. That may be their downfall, that may be the thing that won’t allow them to gain the prominence of the larger voices. It is always easier to get people behind an agenda, liberal or conservative, but the church (I think) seeks to be a meeting place more than a rallying cry itself.

      • http://fifteenminuteplan.wordpress.com Lyndsey

        I see your point. And I think you’re right that those churches that are liberal are almost necessarily more desirous of an inclusive atmosphere and thus are less likely to take a real stand on things. The thing I struggle with intellectually is the difference between a conscious decision to stay quiet for the sake of inclusion, and a failure to take a stand on an important issue for fear of losing support. I do believe there are some things worth taking a stand on, particularly when it comes to issues I feel are very central to the teachings of Jesus, such as taking care of the less fortunate. I guess I feel that a lot of recent political issues are really more moral issues than anything else— and after having to listen to the conservative christian viewpoint on them (which never seems to jive with my ideas of Christianity), I wish that there were churches that would stand up and publicly support the other side. The current public persona of Christianity seems so backwards to me right now and it seems like most churches who say anything speak out against the values of love and charity, and the few churches I suspect might champion these values seem to feel that not alienating their conservative members is more important than speaking out and saying that in their view of this religion, taking a liberal stance on social issues is the right thing to do. I guess it just feels to me like the faith I grew up believing in is being consumed by the “moral majority” and the public persona of the Christian church is now almost unrecognizable to me.

        • Francois

          Couldn’t agree more. Ironically, the far right’s fanaticism is the very thing that will send ‘traditional’ Christianity to the backwater of History, swiftly propelled by its own ignorant intolerance.. I think Jesus was a little smarter than those who decided what was in and what was out of the Bible 1700 or 1800 years ago – much of it driven by very human political differences. The only thing I pray for is clarity from whoever He was. I don’t trust humans or books that contradict themselves through lobotomizing literalism.

          • Jack Gibson

            Francois, Sa va bien ? Non ? Oui ?
            I’m with you Fran I don’t trust humans or books that contradict themselves through
            lobotomizing literalism. Moreover, I don’t trust books written by humans or books written
            about humans or lobotomized humans reading or writing books or books about humans
            who suffer from “decision constipation,” and these are a few of my favorite things. : )
            ??????????????
            Greetings from North Texas

      • Kim

        Travis, I wholeheartly agree with you. Church should be free from politics. If we are to truly be the prophetic voice then we have to stand central and be able to look both sides, telling them where it is wrong. When we put our politics first instead of our calling, then we have not done much good.
        Lindsey, I happen to have been in many churches and found that those who are “liberal” are no more inclusive than the “conservative.”
        I am lucky enough to live with a Biblical scholar who actually has explained and puts the “human” authored Bible into perspective. Just as we have proven here sometimes, perspective is needed from more than one story to truly encompass a glimpse into God.
        Nadia, I like your balanced approach.

  • http://www.ststephen.org Nathan Swenson-Reinhold

    Well said, Nadia. Thanks for saying these things.

    • http://oldreligiousguy.blogspot.com Owen Griffiths

      Beautifully said. I couldn’t have said it better myself (although I did try). We have these issues in my parish, too, and the challenge is always to love one another even when we may hate the other’s opinion.

  • Rachel W.

    I see your point, but it strikes me that the ones not *getting* that point were your new church members, who were not discussing calmly, who were comparing those who agree with you to Nazis.
    Perhaps your new members need to be reminded to, at the very least, mind their manners?

  • http://nitecaravan.blogspot.com/ Br. Jay

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Not everyone who disagrees with us is evil or such. Great stuff!

  • http://www.mjarts.com Marty Jones

    I’m a liberal-leaning member of a conservative-leaning Lutheran church. I generally don’t talk too much about things political at church, because I don’t want to be a ‘stumbling block’ for others, and I was trained in my upbringing to avoid conflict.
    One of my friends and I had a debate over the abortion-funding portion of the ACA; we still disagree; but we allowed each other to share our reasonable differences in regard to the outcomes. He happens to place more emphasis on one aspect than I do.
    I’m an illustrator by vocation; the other day I saw in my mind an illustration of my faith-walk for the last four-minus decades. Hopefully, on our way to Colorado this week, I’ll be able to finish it.
    The Eternal is so much larger than our arguments over the Christian faith. I wish more people could see this.
    Thank you for being open to Grace, and for continually opening my mind.
    Blessings, Marty

  • Becky

    On many issues my husband is more conservative than I am. It used to drive me crazy that we basically went to the polls to cancel each other out. Most of our friends from church are liberal and often assume he agrees with their point of view and will say some unkind things about people who would not agree with them. they assume they know why someone has a different point of view. I’ve learned that he and I have similar values, but the disagreement is how to get there. I really like this post – for it’s reminder that respectful dialogue is more important than rash demonizing.

  • Carol

    I agree that “it is unfair to assume that people who disagree with the ACA do so because they . . . want to keep poor people from having access to quality medical care.” If those who oppose it DO want poor people to have access to quality medical care, I’m eager to hear another solution and I feel frustrated at criticism without alternatives.

    • maddy

      I have spent quite alot of time both reading the legislation and also conversing with individuals on “the other side of the fence” from where you stand on the ACA. Perhaps I can shed some light on the hot button issues. First and foremost they do not want to see the poor without medical care. Not one conservative I know takes anything remotely similar to that position. In fact many who are staunchly opposed volunteer in clinincs, donate to all manner of causes in this area of care for the poor. So the issues…if I were to make a list would go like this…
      1) grave concern over the constitutional precedent of congress being able to regulate “inactivity” and force citizens to buy a product from a 3rd party. The end doesn’t justify the means. There is concern that there are then no congressional limits of authority, and when the adminstration changes are you comfortable with the new expanded power?
      2) Creates too much power in the head of HHS which is an appointed position.
      3) the board which will make decisions on the “standards of care” or what drugs and treatments will be covered for what conditions (again all appointed positions) will under the law have no public comment period, will have no public hearings, will have no appeals process and will not be subject to judicial review. Again appointed by the “current” administration.
      4) there will be sometime after 2014, “multi-state” plans run by the government put into action, these will compete directly with private insurers. I forget which department will run them. Dept of Interior maybe. In any case there is concern that no private insurer will be able to compete with a gov’t entity which wields the rule of law.
      5) the assumptions and math used to estimate the cost of the program was really bogus. Like the Class Act, which was used to bring cost estimates down and has already been abandoned as unworkable. The costs, like the original Medicare estimates (which were off by more than a factor of 10), will be much, much more. Which is OK, as long as everyone understands what they really are. There is no way these additional costs will be borne by those over the 25oK mark in income, there simply aren’t enough of those folks, even if you raise their taxes very high. People should know, like Nancy Pelosi indicated in a PBS interview in 2008 with Charlie Rose, that “ofcourse it will require a VAT”. The euro-area countries who have some variation of socialized medicine all have a Value Added Tax to support it, which on average is a 22% sales tax. Again, that’s OK – but it should be represented as such. Not sold at one cost with a surprise sticker shock in 5-6 years.
      6) There is concern that obvious cost bending measures were left out of the bill. Like Tort reform. Or the banishing of most health care spending accounts, which puts the costs of medical choices more front and center with consumers. And “community rating” while is good in terms of preventing discrimination against those who are ill, it also has the unintended consequence of not allowing “carrots” for good health metrics. For example if we want to bend the cost curve on chronic illness…we should be offering discounts to those who keep a healthy body mass index, control their blood pressure and blood sugar and cholesterol for example.
      7) Alot of the design of cost containment of the bill is basically fixing the price the government will pay for a product or service. Like the “doc fix” every year that congress passes because the medicare reimbursement rate is too low, and would be below a practitioner’s cost to provide the services, this method only works so far. Where supply and demand intersect is price. If you hold the price constant and don’t allow it to fluctuate as the market indicates…supply shrinks. Supplies of doctors, supplies of medical equipment, supplies of new drugs, etc.
      8) there is concern the ultimate outcome will be an even more disfunctional 2 tier system. A broader “medicaid” like system for middle income and lower, with queues and beuracracy. And a cash based system for those who can afford it.
      9) there is the belief that the government broke the individual medical insurance industry to begin with. First by providing a tax benefit to employers who “provide” benefits, but not the same for individuals. Second by prohibiting group policies for any kind of association who is not an employer. This is what Herman Cain was blabbering about. He ran the National Restaurant Association…many waiters/waitresses, cooks/chefs, other restaurant workers were memembers. They wanted to get a group policy for anyone who belonged to the NRA. Governement says no, it’s not legal. WHY??? How many small employers would offer coverage if they could do this? Why can’t your church/synagogue, your professional organization, the AAA club, the Rotary or Lions club offer group policies??? Why if you refuse medicare part A, if you want to buy your own insurance, do you forfeit your social security benefits?
      10) many people are not happy that they will no longer be able to have a high deductible/catastrophic only health care plan if they wanted one. These are basically outlawed under ACA. If your premium is 30-50% lower by having a high deductible and you know that you have that deductible in the bank…why should the government limit your choices?
      I could go on…but that’s probably the top 10. It has nothing to do with not wanting to help the poor. It has everything to do with the HOW we choose to do it.
      Patience with each other, listening charitably to concerns. No matter what finally happens in November or going forward with Healthcare legislation, our nation has a huge challenge ahead of it. The demographics of our dependency ratio. The number of retirees to working people will be shifting radically. We used to have 5 workers supporting every Social Security/Medicare recipient. This will be cut almost in half as the boomers retire. We can’t break promises, and yet we also cannot realistically expect to double taxes on the younger generation either to make up the difference. So what we do really matters. Our debt to GDP ratio is 100%. We have little room for error. Let’s all pray we’re shown the workable path. Because over the past 3 years, our Federal Reserve has bought 70% of US debt issuance.

      • Laura

        Amen !!

  • http://www.freshfreeemail.blogspot.com Kim

    This is the sort of valuable dialog that is sorely needed in today’s political climate. I used to attend a more conservatively oriented church, and would find myself getting angry when the pastor would preach politics from the pulpit. I’d lose sight of why I was worshiping and instead want to debate his politics. I knew it was time to find a new place to worship at that point. Thank you again for being a voice of reason.

  • H. A. Riggs

    Sigh. . . In 20 plus years in ministry I have received countless ad hominem attacks from rude, outspoken conservatives. Sometimes even when they had no idea of my politics! Usually in the context of a council meeting with lay leadership, or in a social setting with the privileged wives of well-off members. (I’m not well off since my family has chosen a life of service.) I’ve never heard a Liberal person call somebody names, or mock their political position in a church, by the way.

    I generally don’t want to have partisan politics in the church at all, we are all God’s children and to say that my friend who is running as a Republican is any less motivated by his faith than my husband who is running as a Democrat, assumes a window into the souls of these two men that no one but God possesses.

    But there are issues that the Gospels and the Prophets demand that we do take a stand on. Issues of social justice, especially poverty issues. I think health care is one of those issues. Is ACA the “most Godly” way to go? Maybe not. But to allow the conservative message of “self-sufficiency,” which is clearly not Biblical to dominate the Christian voice is not a position that the Church should allow to go unchallenged. I too dream of a church where I could go a whole year without someone attacking my parenting, (want to meet my two lovely honors students, who both play instruments and are kind?) or calling me a stupid, bleeding heart because I spoke up to not have an American flag in worship, or dared to request that the church use recycled paper.

    There are plenty of churches out there for conservatives to feel welcome in. There are precious few where liberals like myself are welcome for all of who we are. . . and I’m white, (lower) middle class, and straight! Some respectful dialogue would be nice, but it always seems to end with the conservatives getting their way because the only way they will be civil is when they think they have won!

    • RevDiva

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I couldn’t have said it better myself and so agree.

    • Jack Gibson

      Ok Riggs, edify please. What prompted the ad hominem attacks you “suffered” at the hands of “rude” and outspoken conservatives? Shame on them for the unfounded speculations regarding your politics. Oh, but wait, you mention the discomfort you’ve felt in social settings with “privileged wives” of “well off” members.
      You however,hasten to add you are not well off because you’ve chosen a life of service. Sounds very much like envy to me. There are a host of professions that are dedicated to a life of service and whose practioners are well off because of the services they provide. Oops, I think your politics are showing, without even mentioning your view regarding an American on display in a worship service.

      • Jack Gibson

        Insert “Flag” after American.

        Greetings from North Texas

  • Sandra Orrick

    I don’t believe the reasonable minds that differ will ever be able to coexist without friction. Their basic world view is incomprehensible, each to the other. And of course the other’s mind is by definition(!) unreasonable. You are right in that we need to be sensitive to competing views, but we also must not allow our truth as we know it to be muzzled by lopsided concern for tolerance and inclusiveness. What we perceive as virtues may appear as weaknesses to those of a more dogmatic turn of mind. I speak from experience, having lived for six years in the foreign land of north Texas.

    • Jack Gibson

      Hello from North Texas.
      So much for reasonable minds,sensitivity,tolerance and inclusiveness.
      Let me pour you a tall glass of hypocrisy, with a little intolerance on the side.

  • Rev. Ian Nestegaard Paul

    I am a Lutheran Pastor in Sechelt British Columbia. I grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition and chose to become a Lutheran when I met my wife 22 years ago. When I attended a service with her it felt like I had come home. Having studied for the ministry in a tradition which grounds itself in God’s grace and compassion I find it difficult to credit the conservative opposition to the ACA with any kind of credibility at all. I can understand those conservatives who are expressing a straight forward POLITICAL point of view – BUT when they wrap themselves in Christ’s cross I think they have crossed the line. Our faith should inform every aspect of our lives – including our politics. Those who wrap themselves in their faith to justify denying medical care to the poor and unfortunate – without providing a clear alternative – have no right to hide behind or justify themselves in their faith. You can count on one hand the number of times Jesus associated with the rich and powerful. He took his message of love, hope and compassion to those who needed it most and class all of us to do the same. When the churches fail to take a stand, on the side of the gospel, for social justice then they fail in the ministry which they are called to. How someone can hear the gospel and continue to work to ward the suppression of the poor amazes me. We say we want to be a meeting place where all are welcome – and therefore don’t take stands on sensitive social issues. If, by living out the gospel we are called to proclaim by God, we alienate a bunch of folks with fat wallets then I guess we’re putting the ministry we have ahead of the survival of the church. You can have all the buildings, and gatherings, and music you want – BUT – if the people in the pews don’t at least try to live out the gospel every day of the week – then you might as well close the doors right now. Worship happens on Sunday at a specific time and place. CHURCH happens 24/7 everywhere the people are. As the church we have to take a stand – not violently or viciously but with the gospel in our hearts, our minds and our actions. Does the congregation I pastor do this well? NO. NOT YET – but we are walking together on this journey of faith seeking understanding – and with God’s help may we have the courage to persevere.

    • H. A. Riggs

      Well said! Thank you!

    • http://www.disastermom.com DisasterMOM.com

      Dear Rev, my position against Obama’s health care mandate has nothing to do with wanting not to serve the poor. Not at all. It has to do with bad policy, poor administration of the bill, unethical steps that led to its passing, lies and deceit by this administration and many other concerns for the most significant change in policy in America’s history. I feel the entire “unread” bill is simply bad policy done quickly for political gain. Caring individuals such as yourself and many others believe this will do the trick. God looks at our hearts and not whether we support a piece of legislature that appears to make a group seem uncaring and against the poor. I am a devout Christian with conservative leaning views but having worked for 15 years in a charity, my reasons have none to do with what people like myself are accused of. I care very deeply for the those in need, but I disagree with the vehicle to do it. I believe the free market can provide better solutions if allowed to work without political battering. Big government has suppressed Christians for centuries and my only goal is to limit government. The bigger the government, the more anti-God, more secular it becomes. Obamacare will be no different. I personally feel that this administration has “fooled” many Christians into believing that what they propose is spiritually superior while those who work behind the scenes know full well that the churches are a great place to usher in big government because Christians are convinced that this is somehow more spiritual and Christlike. I am personally baffled that Christians can’t see through the half truths, lies, anti-God secularism that is taking place. In addition, tax payer dollars will pay for abortions and other things against our values. Please, if you are reading this. See the big picture. We all want the same things and this administration wants us to be pinned against each other just like the racial divide. Satan is the true enemy and not each other. Christ calls us to be unified and I think we are. Please vote your values, forget political party. We all know the bible calls us to be unified if we are Christians, to not kill (abortion), marriage is between a man and a woman, and above all put on faith, hope and love. I simply disagree with Obama and his policies. He has not proved to be a man of sound mind, character and leadership and I am using the spirit given to me through faith to see through his rhetoric. Remember what we disagree on is not whether to serve the poor and needy, but the vehicle to do it. I respectfully disagree with Obamacare. Throw it out, start again, allow the free market to drive down costs through healthy competition, tax credits, reducing fraud and other options. But why dismantle the greatest health care in the world. Let’s improve upon it. There are solutions that will truly meet the needs of the poor without making all of us poor too from bad policy! Please, think about it! Don’t support this terrible policy.

      • Linda Hill

        Well said, DisasterMOM.com I am a conservative Christian who wants to understand the liberal point of view. As a teacher for more than 30 years and a minister’s wife for just as long, I have spent a lifetime in service to people. I’ve taught HeadStart, GED classes, Adult ESL classes, Citizenship classes and public school for decades. Our church, though conservative, is very tolerant of all people, believing we should love people where they are, but encourage a Biblical lifestyle. The most compassionate thing to do is to teach people to fish, not keep giving out fish!
        It’s interesting to read liberal viewpoints. Keep communicating with people from both sides. We may find out we’re not as different as we think!

      • Jack Gibson

        Ah ! A voice of reason in a sea of delusion. Well done, DisasterMOM.

    • Jack Gibson

      Ian, I’ll seize upon one comment you made in your Opus.
      Who pays your salary and for all the appurtenances of worship ?
      The poor or the fat wallets ? You have a problem with money…or
      the lack of it ? I imagine many of the fat wallets have honestly earned
      the blessings of wealth. Next Sunday, from the pulpit, pick a fight with some of the fat
      wallets in the congregation. They’ll move on and take their talent,time and
      TREASURE with them and you’ll be left with a church in financial straits, but at least
      Ian, you’ll still be in possession of your principles.

    • maddy

      So you equate taking care of the poor personally (which we are called to do for sure) with the government program of the ACA? And you believe that this is the only or the best way to accomplish this goal? You cannot see the possibility that someone else in complete good will and in acting with solidarity with the poor might disagree? You assume that someone opposed is concerned for their personal tax rate…and not that perhaps they might get better results by taking those same dollars and donating them to the charity of their choice who is in the trenches with the poor – and not given to our federal government who is so terrific at wasting money? I can be opposed and be in full possession of my principles, I assure you. And I give generously to a whole host of charities both foreign and domestic. I donate my time as well. The self-righteousness in your post is unbecoming.

  • Fred

    Sandra, I disagree with your assertion that reasonable minds won’t be able to coexist. One of the basic difficulties in current political discussion has little to do with political conservatism or liberalism. It has to do with whether you a liberal thinker or not. Liberal thinkers are willing to accept the premise that they do not know everything, therefore they can have a conversation with one with whom they disagree. However much of the Conservative Political Agenda now does not allow for discussion and debate. If someone disagrees with you, then they are wrong, stupid, socialist/communist, or even demonic.
    Nadia is calling us to create within our communities of faith [by the way, don't just look for one where this happens, but work hard to create it where you are] where people can discuss any number of things upon which they disagree, but still kneel at the communion rail together.

    • Sandra Orrick

      Thank you for clarifying my point: the only position that will admit the possibility that the opposing view may be reasonable is the liberal or progressive (hence the term “liberal”). Therefore the old maxim that “reasonable minds can differ”, often applied in courtroom disputes, is of less utility in today’s political discussions. Narrow, parochial positions leave no room for reasonableness to breathe.

    • Sandra Orrick

      Are you distinguishing between liberalism and thinking liberally? Why? How?

  • bill

    Jesus’s main message was to help the poor. That’s what he did. That has got lost in all the hateful doctrine of most churches. I wonder how many would protest if a Republican came up with a national healthcare plan. Seems to me one did in his own state and they didn’t complain then.

  • amy

    As I ready the comments above I am struck by a common thread; that politically conservative christians are somehow the only people who are out spoken, and even that they are not able to be inclusive. On the contrary while I beleive that socially conservative christians may feel free to speak their minds on issues like abortion at church or in the company of church members, in my experience those leaning to the political left are the ones who are more outspoken in their political beliefs, especially in issues of welfare. I happen to be opposed to the ACA… I believe that it is a policy that, while it seems good, is very large, very expensive and very over reaching. Not to mention is adds to our tax burned and it passes a pol of expense on the the next generation. I am a Christian and I fell a need to help the poor and a calling to serve others because of my faith… and I don’t feel a contratiction between my faith and my political leanings. I am happy to allow the gov’t to help provide a safety net for people that fall through the cracks… but I feel that churches and communities of faith should be busying their hands to help those people who are struggling, and that only after the church has failed should someone need to ask for assistance from the gov’t. I do not see the gov’t as a tool for the church to help the poor. I do not feel charitable on tax day, as I would feel on a day when I attend chuch and donate, or bring a meal to a neighbor who is struggling. I could go on, but I will end with this… at every level of the federal gov’t there is waste, fraud and abuse. It is a nameless and faceless. On the contrary your church community is loving, christ centered and grace filled… it may be easier to pass a bill and be able to say that because of your faith you support that bill because it helps the poor. But if faith communities were acting on their faith, they would be acting at a local level to keep their neighbors from having to turn to a nameless, faceless beurocracy for help.

  • Darin

    1 Corinthians 1.19: “Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine.”
    Yes, church must be about grace–first and last. And it is not only about grace. Friendship in Christ is also about living in truth (vs. lies, delusion, anxiety) and love (vs. hatred, bearing false witness, enforcing ideology). If one among us refers to people who disagree with her as “Nazis,” then she undermines the covenant of grace that binds the community together. “Speaking the truth in love” has more to do with correcting such a wrong or preventing someone from ‘poisoning the well’ than merely insisting that all opinions be aired. Too often the church tolerates the intolerable in the name of grace and winds up allowing the cancer of hatred and division to destroy the community.

    Galatians 5.15f: “If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”

  • Ed

    “Of all mankind’s sins, self righteousness is my favorite.” – Satan, from The Devil’s Advocate. As I read the many commentaries on this posting I see self righteousness. The same sin I see when I read right-leaning Christian blog comments. Both sides use the same terms to describe each other. There is no love here…no second greatest commandment love. THAT is why so many people are running from the church. Remove the log from your own eye. Now I am finished trying to be a Nathan to your David, so you can all begin your attacks on me.

    • Sandra Orrick

      Isn’t spiritual pride the most pervasive and insidious of besetting sins? I refuse to allow my fear of such an accusation cloud and confuse my presentation of the gospel. It is time to be fearless and loving, fearless and tolerant, fearless and clear. No more mush. Perfect love casts out fear, and the truth shall make you free.

    • Jack Gibson

      Ed, self-righteousness is your “favorite” sin ? Good for you, it takes talent and guts to be self-righteous every day and in every way. Those who are active in those “right” leaning Christian blogs,well they’re the absolute worst, aren’t they Ed ? We both know that left leaning bloggers,well, they’re self-righteous too but not nearly to the extent of the right leaning bloggers. I’m hopeful that my next door neighbor in Heaven isn’t as self-righteous as I am. Am not sure of the logistics of the heavenly realm, but it’s my fervent hope that it’s segregated.
      Greetings from North Texas

  • http://jimpondering.blogspot.com/ Jim Riddle

    Just stumbled through Jay Bakker’s explanation of how Facebook steals more effectively than the government and seethed at that being why I never saw your feed on FB although I catch you on Twitter. I enjoy both of you, although I am a right-wing lugnut, retired, disabled PhD engineer with a Master’s in Parish Education (Concordia St. Paul, speaking of the dark side of Luther), since I am interested in emerging-church related issues and living as much as possible by James 1:27 and Philippians 4:8.

    You said some good things here. I have been trying to encourage people to cut through the fluff and furry and get to the heart of, as you said, you still better not get seriously ill unless you are rich and “I whole-heartedly support more access to affordable health care for all Americans and hope that the ACA will accomplish this. But it is unfair to assume that people who disagree with the ACA do so because they want the opposite of what I want – that they oppose it because they want to keep poor people from having access to quality medical care.” I have disagreed with the ACA all along because it is a total misnomer – the act, in those of its 1,000 pages that I, as a retiree, HAVE had the time and inclination to read, does very little for the sake of care and very much for the financing and payment of medical care. We can do better. We deserve better. Prudence indeed dictates there should be a more rational and more effective approach.

    So kudos to the raising of the collective consciousness and thank you for working to maintain civility instead of animosity through our working within that consciousness.

  • Brad

    I’m kinda snarky (matter of fact I think I deserve credit for the grade A snark quote in the article j/k). That being said…. YAY GRACE!

  • Bob M

    Nadia, thanks for keeping the door open. Mono-cutting happens on both sides of the argument, and on a wide range of other issues. Conservatives dislike stereo-typing and intolerance as much as liberals do.

    I don’t think the healthcare system was satisfactory the way it was; but I disagree with the approach taken by PPACA and the process used to get it through Congress. I don’t have a callous disregard for uninsured people just because I don’t buy in to one way of solving the problem.

    I support marriage as it has been defined for millenia in just about every culture known to man, and it has never been a civil rights issue. That does not make me a hateful or even disrespectful of homosexuals or others who support SSM, nor does it mean that I oppose anyone’s civil rights.

    I disagree politically with a president who happens to be of a different race. That doesn’t make me a racist. If Alan West was the president would all white liberals be racist for disagreeing with him?

    I believe the social welfare programs rooted in the 1960s were miserable failures that actually perpetuated multi-generational poverty rather than providing people a way to retain their dignity while getting their economic footing. I am as genuinely committed to alleviating poverty in this country and worldwide as any liberal I know. I just see a different solution set than most liberals. I think my position is the more loving approach.

    I believe that humans have 100% of their DNA at conception and that they need advocates to protect them until birth; that does not put me at war with women. All of my wives have been women. To the extent that we “warred” – they started it!

    I believe we all should follow the same laws (including immigration laws); that doesn’t make me any less respectful of the human dignity to which everyone God created is due. If I went elsewhere I’d fully respect the laws of the land I was going to. I also wouldn’t look for opportunities to break up and deport families who are rooted (however illegally) in this country.

    I believe that you and I (and everyone reading this blog) were created in God’s image. I’ll never yield the intellectual high-ground to anyone who thinks we evolved. I’ll argue less vehemently if someone insists that THEY evolved, fully respecting their right to get here by whatever means they want to believe.

    I am a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ as I suspect many of your readers believe they are. So, I appreciate the recognition that we can disagree without questioning each others motives or labeling each other.

    • Linda Hill

      Thanks Bob!

    • Sandra Orrick

      You raise approximately eight issues in a witty and articulate manner, but it seems to me that you cannot claim objectivity in your proposed solutions within such a limited and parochial universe. I prefer to inquire of the facts before saying “I believe…”, and through the years I have revised and amended, and sometimes discarded, my beliefs.

      • Jack Gibson

        Through the years you’ve discarded some of your beliefs? Really ???
        So tell me, Sandra, how do “feel” about living in North Texas ?
        Talk about parochialism.

        • Sandra Orrick

          As I said, I feel like a foreigner. That is not to say that the people are not kind and generous, but the predominant literal Bibliolatry makes communication difficult. There are pockets of clarity however, and they are welcome. We all tend to interpret the Scriptures; only some of us will admit it, much less entertain the possibility that the beliefs of the moment may be flawed.

  • jerry lynch

    I am going to rant a little: the Fourth of July Church celebrations always have that unnerving efect.

    Christians are not meant to be tolerant but to advance the kingdom, and that means both telling the truth and loving their neighbor. This is our sum allegiance and purpose. We have compassion for their souls, not their ideas. We do not attack them for their opinions but, with gentleness and kindness at the fore of our relationships, we offer another option…and work to be an attraction to that option. (This means be real, not act perfect.)

    There is no liberal or conservative in truth. But someone will try to argue. “In the real world…” The spiritual realm is a Christian’s real world and their place of citizenship. Can one be left or right of Christ? Or is a person to be hidden in Christ? It is only by being separted out, a citizen of the spiritual realm and not any physical one, that we can best serve others “in the world,” free from those fetters and entanglements that distract and divide. One focus: to be of maximum service to others with love. Only in this way can we be what God would have us be: a clear choice between worldliness and godliness.

    Refusing such labels as Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal, just within the Church (and elsewhere would be terrfic) could yield a great revival. I see just this simple gesture (simple, yes, but not easy) as the snap of fingers, a way to awaken us from the mesmerizing allure of an illusionary divide. Real discernment could have a chance.

    We need to forsake as well the demi-urges of Calvin, Luther, and Wesley: there is but one God. Naming doctrine and dogma and ever-splintering sects after these men is just plain wrong , a preposterous stunt. This is not to say we should burn their writings, it would simply be wiser to burn with the Holy Spirit as our one, true guide and Christ as author of truth.

  • jerry lynch

    I am going to rant a little: the Fourth of July Church celebrations always have that unnerving efect.

    A quick note: Romans13 indicts the fomenters of rebellion, our Founding Fathers; a clear violition of God’s word. The Jews, being crushed out of existnce by taxes, wanted their messiah to do the same thing and Jesus was a great and threatening disappointment to them.

    Christians are not meant to be tolerant but to advance the kingdom, and that means both telling the truth and loving their neighbor. This is our sum allegiance and purpose. We have compassion for their souls, not their ideas. We do not attack them for their opinions but, with gentleness and kindness at the fore of our relationships, we offer another option…and work to be an attraction to that option. (This means be real, not act perfect.)

    There is no liberal or conservative in truth. But someone will try to argue. “In the real world…” The spiritual realm is a Christian’s real world and their place of citizenship. Can one be left or right of Christ? Or is a person to be hidden in Christ? It is only by being separted out, a citizen of the spiritual realm and not any physical one, that we can best serve others “in the world,” free from those fetters and entanglements that distract and divide. One focus: to be of maximum service to others with love. Only in this way can we be what God would have us be: a clear choice between worldliness and godliness.

    Refusing such labels as Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal, just within the Church (and elsewhere would be terrfic) could yield a great revival. I see just this simple gesture (simple, yes, but not easy) as the snap of fingers, a way to awaken us from the mesmerizing allure of an illusionary divide. Real discernment could have a chance.

    We need to forsake as well the demi-urges of Calvin, Luther, and Wesley: there is but one God. Naming doctrine and dogma and ever-splintering sects after these men is just plain wrong , a preposterous stunt. This is not to say we should burn their writings, it would simply be wiser to burn with the Holy Spirit as our one, true guide and Christ as author of truth.

  • http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/ Erich

    I’ve been pondering this and watching the comments develop. Perhaps it has something to do with my Independence Day post. ( http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/the-day-we-celebrate/ ) The confluence of Independence day and the ACA got me thinking about freedom and liberty specifically, Luther on Christian Liberty, but there are so many other related comments, and questions of the role of the Church.

    It seems to me that Caesar has no place in the church. The worship service is not a place for secular politics. How can anyone expect grace from any secular system? Church is a place for worship, to engage with the traditions of our catholic faith in the ancient liturgy.

    In thinking of our duty to god and one another this quotation comes to mind:

    Then one of them, which was a Lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great Commandement in the Law? Iesus sayd vnto him, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, and with all thy minde. This is the first and great Commandement. And the second is like vnto it, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. On these two Commandements hang all the Law and the Prophets.

    I do not believe that the Bible is a moral guidebook, but rather the Inspired Word of God. It is not a rulebook for how to live a moral and just life, if it were I would be putting my faith in works rather than grace.

    • http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/ Erich

      …and by the way. As soon as someone brings Hitler in to the argument they loose all credibility as far as constructing a well reasoned argument is concerned.

      • Jack Gibson

        I’m with you Erich. I sincerely hope noone “loosens” Hitler in any of these discussions.

        Greetings from North Texas

  • Gary

    Send the new couple to a different congregation so that they can grow in their Christian faith. Progressive Christianity is nothing if it isn’t reflectively and unthinkingly supportive of liberal positions. Jesus and theology has been molded and pruned by progressive Christians so as to support liberal positions and not supportive of positions that progressives view as conservative (i.e., supportive of life and supportive of marriage). Re-read the original post by Pr. Bolz-Weber and see that there is no way she could not be unbiased or even handed with anyone who disagrees with her.

    Suggest a congregation closer to the new couple’s home. These new Christians need nurturing in their Christian faith, not lessons in progressive theology.

    • Jack Gibson

      Well,now we’re talking. You sound like a Christian soldier Gary. Welcome to the Corps,your mission,should you choose to accept it,is to engage,close with, and destroy the enemy of orthodoxy, wherever it may be found.
      This Cumbaya,Michael row the boat ashore garbage,needs to be challenged.
      Greetings from North Texas
      ps: I have a tattoo too,Nadia,it reads: “Semper Fidelis.”

      • Sandra Orrick

        Whose orthodoxy, Jack?

        • Jack Gibson

          Dear Sandra:
          The Tao.

          Ta Ta for now.
          With warm regards from North Texas
          Jack

  • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

    As a theologically conservative Christian I think we have to be very careful here. If the Bible really is the inspired world of God (and I am convinced that it is), then we are ultimately accountable to God to follow the teachings of His Word. This means that sometimes the church has to be a prophetic voice in society, but it has to do so very carefully — we must be certain that we really have a biblical mandate for the positions that we take. In our society that typically means that we are politically liberal and conservative at the same time. On the one hand, we are trying to preserve the Judaeo-Christian aspects of our culture (opposition to abortion, homosexuality), but at the same time conscious that the world is fallen and constantly needs reform. Christians should especially be wary of the military and economic policies we often associate with the Republican Party.
    As a matter of moral principle we should support the idea that everyone in our society should have access to decent health care, although there is a legitimate question as to what is the best way to achieve the goal. Although I generally loathe big government solutions to problems, on this issue I think that a single-payer national health insurance plan probably makes more sense than “Obamacare,” which, I understand, was originally a conservative proposal that was supposed to rely on free-market mechanisms to provide cost-effective care. The problem is that to make it work you have to mandate universal participation, and as it turns out you have this enormously complicated and clumsy bureaucratic structure. It is not at all clear that it will actually reign in the cost of health care.
    I also think there is a bit of hypocrisy among Republicans on the issue. Most are concerned, (and legitimately so) about the federal deficit, but resist most efforts to control the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, except to limit benefits to the recipients. When it comes to healthcare, you probably are not going to control the cost without controlling the care itself.

    • http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/ Erich

      Oh Bob,

      Theologically conservitive Christian, I’m not sure what that means. I do know what a confessional Lutheran is, and I do know what it is to be liturgically conservitive, but I don’t know what theologically conservitive is, especially when you pair phrases like “the inspired word of God” with “the Judaeo-Christian aspects of our culture (opposition to abortion, homosexuality).”

      As we hover around Independence Day Luther’s writing on Christian liberty comes to mind. I mentioned this in my first comment above, and discussed briefly that a Christian should not expect a secular government, a republic, a democracy, or a capitalist state to subscribe to a faith position, and should also not expect people of faith to buy into the secular political system. However there is another quotation from Luther that comes to mind when trying to claim the Bible as either a history book or a strict moral guidebook:

      “…it is not sufficient, nor a Christian course, to preach the works, life, and words of Christ in a historic manner, as facts which it suffices to know as an example how to frame our life, as do those who are now held the best preachers, and much less so to keep silence altogether on these things and to teach in their stead the laws of men and the decrees of the Fathers.”

      Christians should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s but should not expect a secular government to care for its citizens in any sort of faithful way.

      This is why I do not ascribe to any sort of state marriage. The word should be stricken from the vocabulary of the secular government and replaced with civil union, or contract of unification, because when a “marriage” is performed by the state it has nothing to do with God, or blessing. A Marriage is done in church, and should be decided by the faith community aside from the State. Likewise a marriage done in a faith community should have no state recognition. But I digress, and will say no more on this topic.

      Erich

      • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

        Well, that was sure an interesting comment!
        When I use the term “theological conservative” in a Protestant context, I mean someone who thinks that the Bible is exactly what it says it is, the inspired Word of God. He theology, therefore, will be deduced from Scripture, and for the most part will look pretty much like the Apostles” Creed.
        I am basically a Calvinistic Baptist. What was surprising about your comment on marriage is that the American Puritans took the exact opposite approach: marriage is a civil arrangement, and not a sacrament. Therefore they did not perform marriage ceremonies in churches. A civil authority would solemnize the marriage, and a meeting might be arranged in which a pastor would talk about the responsibilities of marriage, but he would never actually perform the ceremony!

        • http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com Erich

          Bob,

          So, you are saying that, contrary to the quotation from Luther, the bible is an “history” that “suffices to know as an example how to frame our life?” What do you mean by “inspired word of God?” Is it amoral guidebook? Should we then be sharing all our riches and possessions (Tolstoyan Anarchy) as the apostles did in the book of Acts?

          If we look at the creeds (My favorite is the Athenatian Creed.) they really don’t say anything about how a Christian should lead his life. How does this influence morality?

          Granted the Athenatian Creed does say that the Christian will do good works, but what is your understanding of this?

          Erich

          • Jack Gibson

            Erich,that Athenatian creed,is that the one that reads: “Damn the pita,pass the baklava?”

            Greetings from North Texas

          • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

            I’m assuming you meant to ask “Is it a moral guidebook,” and not “Is it an amoral guidebook.”
            The Bible’s own testimony to itself is that down through the centuries there have been a variety of prophets and apostles who wrote under divine inspiration, that is to say, that God spoke through them in an authoritative way. The Bible as we have it today is the depository of that revelation. It contains history, theology, and ethics, and the three are interconnected. It presents a way of life, and a set of values, based on a worldview.
            Interpreting the Bible, of course, can be a challenge, but one important rule of interpretation to keep in mind is that the Old Testament should be interpreted in light of the New. Jesus, being the Son of God, is the most authoritative of all, and the apostles who wrote after Him fleshed out the details for the new church. The devout Christian meditates on Scripture, and seeks honestly to apply its lessons to his life.
            Creeds can be helpful summaries of biblical truth, but they can never take the place of Scripture itself. In many cases they were meant to resolve theological controversies, and say very little about how the truth is to be applied to life.

  • http://bucknacktssordidtawdryblog.blogspot.com/ Craig Schwanke

    Thank you for straight forward guidance for dealing with differences in politics for the faith community. I will try to do better in my attitudes and opinions of those who disagree with me…

  • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

    P.S. Erich, where did that quote from Luther come from? I have some of his writings, but I am hardly a Luther scholar. I was always under the impression that Luther believed in “sola Scriptura.”

    • http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com Erich

      It comes from “On Christian Liberty” also known as Christian Freedom.

      I don’t think it goes against Sola Scriptura, but rather against the use of the Bible as a guide book, or little instruction Manuel. If we used the bible so we would be living under the law, we would be denying the grace freely given.

      • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

        Thank you. I did indeed find the quote. On Christian Liberty is one of Luther’s earlier writings (1520), and he was trying to defend his doctrine of justification by faith against the prevailing Roman Catholic teaching of the day. His point seems to be that the gospel leads us to Christ, and that we must embrace Him as the Savior, instead of looking at Him merely as a good moral example. He does go on to say, however, that good works must follow salvation.
        This did became an issue later on, however, between Lutheran and Reformed theologians, who debated the “Third Use of the Law.” The Reformed said that the Law functions, among other things, as the believer’s rule of conduct. Some Lutheran theologians demurred on this point.
        The New Testament is filled with practical guidance for our daily lives, but what it mainly does is to lay down certain general principles, often involving the attitude of our hearts, and then we must apply them to the individual circumstances of our lives.

  • Tim Storie

    This message is for Nadia. Forgive me but I’m not web-intelligent. This comment is to specifically engage you in a discussion via my email.

    I think you are a fantastic speaker and I agree with the vast majority of what you say but I really think you might be missing Jesus’s point. I don’t think everlasting life has anything to do with what happens after we die ( it’s now and Jesus came to show us how to get it) and all the society rules Jesus broke had nothing to do with being anti-establishment they were simply to show that religion and loyalty to man in all forms is distinctly different from accepting God in your heart (that requires understanding the millions of circumstances in which each of us choose to deny others of our love – specifically family members). If you have any interest in discussing this please email me.

  • Pingback: Ah, Lutherans! « Uncle Frog

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Very well said. Thank you. We should never let the merely political, the best way to accomplish an end upon which we agree, much less the merely partisan, trump our love of God and our baptismal fellowship.

  • Paul S.

    Hello
    Barkeep, curds and whey shakes for everyone gathered here, I’ll have a Sam Adams,Boston Lager. To whom would y’all ( all of you or each of you, etc. ) attribute the following:
    “It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent “moral busybodies.” The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep,his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    A Bientot !

  • Lisa H

    2 Cor 9:7 God, as always, has the answer.
    If we all truly tithed to the charity of our choice, we wouldn’t need Obamacare.

  • Mike

    When the immortal soul is threatened under the guise of Healthcare, the Church must act. That is no act against charity. Most “churches” care more about attendance and “feeling good” than doing Christ’s work of saving souls. It’s not popular. You could get crucified for it. You’re likely to get crucified for it. God bless

  • Lori Pollard

    Nadia, as a somewhat conservative Christian, I do stand against ACA for many reasons well expressed by several the comments above. What I very much appreciate in this post however is your conclusion of welcoming of all opinions. Inclusion of “people” and tolerance of differing pov’s. Theologically I converted to Christianity in college and attended a charismatic church for seven years, then on to baptist for several years, then hyper-calvinism, then throttled back to reformed theology, then nothing as I was bone tired of the law and hypocrisy. In the last few years I’ve been studying Lutheranism- and like Rev. Ian, it was like coming home.
    I watched your presentation to the ELCA youth convention last night. It was convicting. Do we really welcome those different souls that Jesus did? No, unfortunately, we welcome those who look like us, talk like us, pray like us, belong to the correct political party like us… Jesus had no such constraints even within the politics of His day.
    ” It has to be grace. It has to be a table where all are welcome. It has to be Christ. When it’s anything else we aren’t really being the church we are being something else and people get hurt.” YES!
    Thank you for the eyes wide open.

    • Sandra Orrick

      Speaking of grace and Christ and a table where all are welcome, Garry Wells in What Jesus Meant says “Picture him then, a man with the future in his eyes, quiet in his mystery, paradoxically calming and provoking others….He walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.” pp 24, 27. Our welcoming all to the table is likely to have a similar effect, both calming and provoking.

  • Angela

    Nadia, I listenedd to your sermon at the Youth Gathering and was so happy that my child was there to hear it too. What you said that spoke most to me was that even after you identified as a Christian and looked forward to worshipping our Lord you felt as though you had to “check a part of you at the door.” I don’t think you are alone in that and I often think about how I can contribute making coming together as a community in Christ a comfortable place, a place that feels like the security of home. With that being said, my son told me about your blog so I came to this site to read it. Because I usually fall on the conversative side when it comes to politics, this blog caught my attention. I was pleasantly suprise to find that even though you and I don’t agree on Obamacare, you have respect for mine and many others opinion. I like that you hold true to your beliefs that we should be one in Christ and respectful of one another even though we are have differing opinions.

    Specifically regarding Obamacare, it’s not that I’m against affordable healthcare or want people to go without healthcare that they need. I have a desire that all would have the healthcare they need. It’s that I don’t think Obamacare is the right answer. I’m afraid of the long terms affects on the healthcare industry and the sustainablility of the program. There are so many other ways that could address the cost of health care without forcing every American to live by the healthcare that is designed by the governement. There are many other countries that have try to do this and it is the people that suffer. The big red flag for me is that Congress isn’t required to participate. If it is so wonderful, why wouldn’t they want it? There are a lot of inefficiency in healthcare and taking a look at those would be one way to reduce cost and make healthcare affordable to all. Health insurance really does nothing to affect the cost of health care.

  • Misty

    Thank you. I don’t really know who you are yet. I just found an article and liked you on FB. I too, was elated when the ACA passed and yadda yadda… but after researching this and actually reading much of it myself and seeing how many businesses are closing up shop because of mandates and the costs associated with the ACA, I am almost embarrassed that I supported it. Yes poor people should have access to better care than they have had. Yes preconditions are BS. But Imposing health insurance on every one in America is not the way to do it. But hating the people who can’t see the harm is doing nothing to change anything. Charity begins at home, not Washington. We would probably give more if the government wasn’t taking from us to give to other people, and somewhere along the way, only a small fraction actually goes to the people that it was intended for in the first place. States should hold the power not the FED.

    Should this opinion have any place in a religious organization? Not one that I would be a member of. I love being around people who get just as disheartened when they see others fighting and name calling over something that neither side really understands, as I do. I love the ahh ha moments when people, like you, put it into perspective. I may not agree with everything that you believe or do, but I can respect you as a child of God, just like me.

    I’m just falling back into this religious thing and I follow a few ministers, but every single one fails to ring true to me about everything they say. It is usually when they get up on a soap box and inject their human opinions. It is usually something like a southern baptist preacher saying something about music or culture that irritates me. It is usually a pompous attitude, a “if it doesn’t come from a red faced middle aged man in a suit and tie, clean cut and listens to only old time gospel music, it doesn’t come from God” mentality that puts me off. But even seeing someone like you who is liberal and accepting, I still can’t wholeheartedly accept everything that you say. I think I have finally found myself in you guys. You person’s of the cloth, so to speak. I think I have finally found the reason why there is always something that makes me step back and take a second look only to be disappointed. You and all other preachers are human, just like me, sinners, just like me. You have good intentions, just like I do, but there is this human element that can take something so beautiful and screw it up with our own intentions. It is hard to accept that the people I trust to deliver God’s incorruptible word, can screw it up just as badly as I can at times. Yet, at the same time this realization breaks down a wall for me. A wall that sorta kept me a lesser person than all the preachers I have ever met. I always felt like an outsider, but finally seeing you guys for who you really are, I have learned that my walk with God, has more to do with what I read in the Bible, than what you say from the pulpit. This realization has made me regain respect for almost every minister I had lost respect for previously, for preaching extra biblical opinions or twisting God’s word to support their own ideas or judgement of others. We can never be perfect in this human skin and I needed to stop expecting perfection from preachers. Its like a breath of fresh air! I can be open to all denominations now, without the guilt.

    But I think politics is so different because we are the blind leading the blind, we are literally making this shit up as we go along. Whereas religion, or Christianity, rather, should be about the heart, the soul and doing things out of love. Politics is about the body the houses the heart and soul, its about the corruptible flesh. When religion fails, where love can’t penetrate, politics picks up and tries to play God. That is why I think we should vote based on our faith but politics has no place in church. Christians fighting about politics seems silly to me. God knows what he is doing, he gave you a voice. He gave us all a voice or the means to be heard by way of a vote. But when we, instead, use our voice to tear each other down or allow our opinions of politics to keep ourselves alienated, we fail to do what God wants. I wish more of us can get past our human shortcomings and stand together long enough to accomplish something, but instead most of us are like me. When I saw something that I didn’t like in a preacher I shut them out and judged them, ironically for judging someone, LOL. I long for the day when God will cleanse me of this horrible thing called “human nature”. But until then I will just have to let His word be my refuge and your words be an inspiration. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.